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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 7th, 2007, 03:26 AM   #1
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Another look at the EX

Didn't get to use it as much as Alister or Nigel, but here's my impressions anyway.

http://www.simonwyndham.co.uk/xdcam-pmw-ex1.html
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Old September 7th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #2
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Thanks a lot, Simon, for your excellent review. And great to get informed about the following:
"Other features include ... SDI out for recording full 4:2:2 1920x1080 footage. Note that this is true 4:2:2 and is not upsampled ...".
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Old September 7th, 2007, 03:53 AM   #3
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Thanks Simon! Can you tell us what sort of a zoom control can it use?
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Old September 7th, 2007, 03:54 AM   #4
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Thanks Michael. As with all current articles on the camera it is based around a pre-production model (in fact it is was a pre-pre-production model). Some things may be slightly different on the final camera. One thing I hope they keep are the extensive setup menus. On the camera I looked at they were every bit the equal of the full size cameras!

Piotr, I'm not sure what type of zoom control it can use at present. I should have asked when I had the chance, but there were so many other things and such a short amount of time. Alister or Nigel might be able to tell you as they were allowed to use the camera for a number of days.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #5
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After the brochure, and now the first impression reviews from Alister, Simon and Nigel - I'm almost sold on this little marvel.

The only 2 things that I'm still in doubts about are:
- will it work with the chepaer, non-Pro Express Card
- will it *somehow* make use of the lanc controllers I have, or something else but not very much more expensive.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 04:09 AM   #6
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Mee to, I am tempted so sell my A1 on eBay right away.
Simon, do you have a demo frame grab that you could share? Would be much appreciated.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 04:17 AM   #7
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Alister and Nigel have screen grabs since they got to use it more extensively. From what I have seen though the pictures are superb. I am left wondering if next years NAB will see an update to the 350 that has similar CMOS chips in it!

Will the cheaper Express cards work? Hmmm, sort of. We messed around with one to see if it would. The camera threw up all sorts of errors making it a hassle to do so, but it did record footage onto them. The proof in the pudding will be when the final camera is released as to whether these errors appear on the final production version.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 02:08 AM   #8
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Simon, do you happen to know whether the cam has a (2 second or so) pre-recording buffer? That would come real handy for any kind of snapshots.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:29 AM   #9
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I remember reading somewhere over the last 24 hours that a pre-record bufffer will be enabled after release with a flash firmware update. Don't quote me on that though.

Last edited by Guy Barwood; September 8th, 2007 at 04:16 AM.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:46 AM   #10
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Guy, you are correct. The pre-record cache will be enabled in a firmware update.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:51 AM   #11
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Simon,
It comes as a surprise to all that the HQ mode is NOT really XDCAM HD, in fact (being 1920x1080@35Mbps VBR, rather than 1440x1080@35Mbps). Does Sony have a name for this format? Also, pumping this much more info into the same bandwidth - won't it result in encoding probs?

I have mixed feelings about two differences vs the standard XDCAM HD:

- the MP4 wrapper
- the above mentioned "better resolution"

Could you comment?
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
The pre-record cache will be enabled in a firmware update.
Sounds great, thanks.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 04:07 AM   #13
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Piotr,

I don't think the extra resolution will be a problem. Remember that 35Mbit/sec is VBR, and on the current XDCAM HD models the average bitrate for the vast majority of shots is nowhere near the top rate. I think that the only thing that will happen is that XDCAM EX will just have a higher average bitrate than the current XDCAM HD cameras.

The format is just another form of XDCAM HD. The MP4 wrapper is nothing to worry about. It is a sensible decision considering that Adobe haven't supported XDCAM. Getting the footage into Premiere will be a major factor in having large takeup for the camera.

My only gripe is the transfer to XDCAM disc with PDZ-1 etc downsampling to 1440. To be honest though I do not think that Sony will leave it at that. They have their work cut out for them with all of this and the other equipment they are releasing, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if they work in a new 1920 backup to XDCAM disc at some point in the future after they have overcome their current workload.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
The pre-record cache will be enabled in a firmware update.
Which is great in two ways. 1st the obvious of getting the feature, but 2nd, firmware updates will be end user based. For firmware updates to the likes of JVC HD series you have to return it to a service centre, so last century....
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Old September 8th, 2007, 04:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
My only gripe is the transfer to XDCAM disc with PDZ-1 etc downsampling to 1440. To be honest though I do not think that Sony will leave it at that. They have their work cut out for them with all of this and the other equipment they are releasing, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if they work in a new 1920 backup to XDCAM disc at some point in the future after they have overcome their current workload.
Who knows, maybe by the time the PDW-U1 drive writing is enabled, it'll include the full 1920x1080 format.
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