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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 September 6th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #61
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Just read most of it starting with the specs... printed first :)

.14 Lux? even at 18db that is swwweeeett. Am I nuts or is this really good low light capability?

Mike
I'm afraid Sony has adopted another way of rating low light performance. It's similar to Canon's A1: "0.4 lx (60i/30F mode, Manual mode, 1/4 shutter, F1.6, Gain 18 dB)". 0.4 lux sounds great, and yet the actual sensitivity turned out to be not much better than the V1's with its 4 lux rating!

The EX with its .14lux will certainly be better because of the larger sensors, but what it really means compared to 1lux of PD170, or 4 lux of the V1, or 3 lux of the Z1 - well, we have yet to see...
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Old September 6th, 2007, 04:53 PM   #62
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my most crucial question is, will the hi-def broadcasters certify its usage? that seems to be the real acid test of cameras in this price range, in terms of maximum flexibility and maximizing the ability to deliver the product. does anyone in the know have any info on whether XDCAM EX will receive the same respect as its big brothers?
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Old September 6th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #63
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Certainly more sensitive than my Z1. Possibly a little more sensitive than my F350 according to the side by side test I did.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #64
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Sensitivity is F10 at 2000 lx.

To put this in perspective:

JVC HD100/200/250 1/3" HD (720p) F8 @ 2000 Lux
Sony XDCAM HD 330 1/2" HD Camera F9 @ 2000 Lux
Sony XDCAM HD 350 1/2" HD Camera F9 @ 2000 Lux
Sony HDW-750P HDCAM 2/3" HD Camera F10 @ 2000 Lux
JVC DV500 1/2" SD Camera F11 @ 2000 Lux
Sony DSR450 2/3" SD Camera F11 @ 2000 Lux
JVC DV5100 1/2" SD Camera F13 @ 2000 Lux

For those not aware, the larger the F stop rating at 2000lux the more sensitive a camera is. Sony have never published these ratings on cameras such as the Z1, but taking it is very similar in sensitivity to the JVC HD100 it puts it a Z1 at around F8 @ 2000 lux.

One F stop represent double or half the amount of light. F stop numbers are not linear though, we have

f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64, f/90, f/128

So taking f/8 and f/11 as a single full stop difference, the EX1 is about 2/3 of a stop more sensitive than a Z1.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #65
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3. It seems like the firewire output only works with the 25Mbps stream, right? But this would mean the camera should be compatible with the DR60 disk, otherwise how could it easily "mix" with HDV? I mean it'd be nice to extend the recording times by using the cards for HQ only and use the DR60 for SP...Or record SP to both for that extra protection from failure. But will DR60 write MP4s, or M2ts? Or is the i.LINK outpt (which is marked HDV on the cam) actually outputting m2t? What with uncompressed audio? And finally, will it allow to record to the DR60 only (e.g. with cards full, or absent)?
Alister, can you comment on the possibility of recording the 25Mbps stream from the 'HDV' i.LINK output to the DR60 drive?
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Old September 6th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #66
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I hope we will see some variants of the EX. Obvious options are no SDI, then restrictions to 25Mbs with 19VBR as the second speed for long recording. This latter one would be a good transition from the HDV line and one I would be interested in as "addicted amateur" to go with my FX1!!!!

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Without variable bitrates, it would defeat the purpose of XDCAM in general. Sorry to say, but one of the formats redeeming factors in regard to long gop managements is the larger than 25mbps bitrate. Yes the encoder is SLIGHTLY different to HDV, but the larger bitrate also plays a major element in the way this camera can compete with more "professional" formats.

Having the options available is what make the format so robust, as you can switch bitrates based on your needs. Doing a no frills interview, use 19mbps, shooting boats on water use 35mbps.

Price is relative more so to hardware than anything else, so I really see no benefit in "dumbing" the camera down to HDV standard.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #67
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Thanks Guy

I appreciate breaking that down. This is very good news as it was a big factor for me. I hope the lower s/n ratio and this will mean really clean gain at 18db too.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #68
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Maybe I missed this in my reading, but does anyone know if the camera can down-convert to SD via Firewire out?
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:20 PM   #69
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I think only via 1394 out, which means for pure SD work, you are going to have to shoot HD, and capture via 1394 or render in post back to SD.

This seems to be so lame, how much is a DV encoder to add? Certainly the 330 etc can record native SD to XDCAM optical disk and just copy the files across.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #70
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Wow, sony really have pulled something out of the bag here, this camera is going to be great!

The one thing that is missing is dv.. which is a shame i guess, but downconvertings so easy now, especially if you're running fcp with a kona card, down converting on the fly is so quick.

Hmmm, cant wait to see more pictures, the chip are sounding amazing, and i dont think anyones going to miss the LP mode. Sony really have listened to people and thought about this camera, well done.

Loving that it comes with an 8gb card when you buy it.

Now if the images look as good as the hvx i might be able to get over that 420 colour sampling and buy this instead of an hvx.. we'll see.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #71
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Have a read at this article. http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=171
It appears to be only HD. A lot of questions will be answered here.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #72
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Have a read at this article. http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=171
Interesting. This reviewer says the low light is NOT as good as the Panasonic:

"Using Panasonic's method of SD chips and pixel shifting means you have superior low-light performance [compared to ex1] by anything between 1/2 stop and 1.5 stops."

Granted, he did review a preproduction model.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #73
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Well it would be a tall tall ask for a 1920x1080 sensor to beat the sensitivity of a SD resolution sensor of only a few years old technolog.

I don't doubt that while the sensitivity of the EX1 will be less than the Panasonic (but still better than the likes of a Z1), the resolution of the image will be far superiour. Then, with this higher true resolution, 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2 sampling will be less significant. ie for each pixel the HVX samples, the EX1 will sub sample twice.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 10:13 PM   #74
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And this is just one review, so no need to throw up our hands just yet.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #75
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Using Panasonic's method of SD chips and pixel shifting means you have superior low-light performance [compared to ex1] by anything between 1/2 stop and 1.5 stops.
But that was comparing to the Panasonic HPX500 which costs several times as much and has even larger sensors; what's more relevant is how the EX1 will compare to other <$10K HD cameras. It would be reasonable to guess that the low-light ability will be at least similar to that of HD cameras with 1/3" chips containing fewer pixels, and it sounds like the latitude may be better. We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out once production units are shipping.
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