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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 18th, 2007, 04:49 AM   #61
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The Prospect 2K is very nice but the Prospect HD will match the EX footage.

Are you saying that Prospect HD is all you need and that Prospect is overkill for HD? I take it Prospect does SD as well and is a swiss knife in this area?

If you injest the HD footage using Prospect it will injest the footage and convert the footage into an AVI file format (Cineform Intermediate). Its a lossless conversion and it allows your computer to be able to handle the footage for editing just as if it were SD.

Ok so lets say an hour movie at 35mbs at 1080P....could you estimate around how long would it take to convert the footage to an AVI format in Cineform.

After you edit the footage you just export the file back out of the editor and recompress it for burning a DVD or Bluray Disk.

I asked this question is a different forum and nearly got my head ate off by I suppose coders.
When do you think Programs will come out to enable us to do the cool menus seen in the Casino Royale James Bond Blu-Ray DVD?

If you want to play out HD footage and don't have a bluray writter then you can also export to a memory stick and plug it into a Sony PS3.....

The file format for the Sony PS3 that would be M2T...

This is a great insight to the workflow possible with the EX...thanks
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #62
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I seriously dont think starting to use something like the EX1 will eventually add production value Ronny

Experience, Knowledge,Art of editing, Camera Skills, Presentation in my opinion they are the key elements in producing quality DVD's

Shooting with the EX or any HD camera i think is a bonus to anyones work.

Who's is controlling the camera and how now that's a high level of skill on it's own.

what about editing once again anyone can cut & paste but the elite can tell a story

rob.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 05:04 AM   #63
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What about Sony Vegas Pro 8? Edit the native EX files, then output direct from the timeline to Blu-ray or SD DVD. There is no need to transcode to an intermediate codec. There is no such thing as a lossless transcode, any re-compression will introduce artifacts. Cineform claim there process to be "visually" lossless which means you can't see the difference. However do several transcodes say from Mpeg to CFHD to Mpeg and you will get some concatenation. It may be small and in-significant but it will be there.

Cineform was developed as an editing tool for HDV at a time when PC's and the applications that ran on them really struggled to edit HD Mpeg. These days multi core PC's running applications such as Edius, Vegas and Avid can edit HDV and XDCAM HD almost as easily as DV. Mac users running FCP can also edit native HDV and XDCAM material with ease. Cineform still has a part to play especially with 2k and 4k but I'm not convinced that transcoding is of HD Mpeg material is necessary or desirable.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 06:18 AM   #64
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HD editing and 1hr of HD video

Alister the new FCP-6 timeline is great, you can edit anything from HD to SD on the same timeline but for reasons only known to Apple they updated all the apps in FCS2 but not DVD studio Pro, although you get a radio button for Blue-ray it has no effect...as yet their is... to my knowledge...no HD workflow from the Mac that allows you to output your final HD production to Blue-ray...
You can however...but I have not tried this, output 1 hour of HD video footage onto a normal 4.7GB DVD.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 08:12 AM   #65
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Just to play devil's advocate and keep in line with the thread topic -
Why choose the EX1 over, let's say, the V1 for weddings?

They're both HD, the V1 can shoot SD 16:9 and goes to tape and allows real time downconvert out of the camera.

The question is, will the client see the difference between V1 and EX1 video? I know us professionals can but we're talking about wedding clients here.

This is why I bring up the business aspect of HD. The EX is a more expensive camera, may require an offload procedure during the wedding depending on the number of cards you have, computer based downconvert instead of out of the camera, archival time and expense. In addition, both HDV and XDCAM require additional expense if one is actually going to deliver HD, compared to SD delivery.

This is why I don't think one can "sell" your work at DV or HDV prices . . . and why we can't simply talk about HD when talking about the EX1.

How does one justify the additional expense and workflow time of the EX1 over HDV . . . when most clients are probably still happy with SD (and yes I know that WILL CHANGE but the majority of TV sets out there are SD even though I suspect the majority of TV set sales are now HD)?

I have my own thoughts but will save that for another post. I mention this because so many posts in this thread are about HD (and learning it) but that's not a convincing reason to move to the EX1.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #66
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"The question is, will the client see the difference between V1 and EX1 video? "

And THIS is the fundamental question considering the fact ath at this time, its already a difficult ascertion for the general public to come to grips with HD 720 or 1080i/p
they DO NOT KNOW the difference save for afew well versed geeky clients, but at the end of teh day they WILL NOT ascertain the differences betweent the 2. THey wil simply see HD or SD.. they wont notice the difference between 1080i or 720p on a progressive panel and they certainly WILL NOT really care for the difference, so long as they "have it" in HD..

This is the first foremost point above everything else.

In regard to the camera itself, the EX in itself will make shooting HD a much more viable option FOR THE SHOOTER by offering elements of control, DoF, audio, codec etc. In turn, production values SHOULD increase on the shooting level, however i can already see the no brainer shooters out there hankering for this camera and expecting it to work miracles...
The point however is the camera itself wont change the way HD is percieved by the potential client, however it will change the way HD is percieved on an acquisition level.
On a tech level and on a media menagement level.

The client WILL NOT CARE if you shoot with a Canon A1 or with an EX .. if it looks good THATS what they care about.

If its tagged HD, even better. to them, they wont know the difference on the outset and as it stands, in todays current market, its difficult enough to sell good SD let alone upgrade said client into HD offerings.

"I know us professionals can but we're talking about wedding clients here."
To be honest, over half the pro's wont be able to tell the difference between HDV and XDCamHD. Straight out of the cam it might be considerably different considering DoF and dynamic range, but in a real world environment, I dont see it making al lthat much of a difference to the clients themselves.

Like i said, the clients wont care what you shoot with.. and looking at photography as an example, smaller cameras have proven to be as successful as higher end gear.

Fair enough this camera changes the way a company may work with media, and frankly, i can se how in the longterm it will benefit many companies, my own included, however as it stands, and with the lack of demand for HD, the EX will only make shooting HD a more viable option due to the control, CMOS performance and codec/media management.
These 3 elements are the TRUE differentials which keep the EX above tape based HDV.
To the client, these 3 elements mean NOTHING
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #67
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Craig you are spot on but...

The half inch chips on hearsay seem to be far better in low light and if some of the weddingographers are already using HDV using the EX getting better low light capabilities does make sense. The only thing that bothers me is card space and an EX picture matching say an FX1. Weddings are very organic and never run to time so if one is to be a true pro using an EX camera you would take enough sticks of memory to cover 2 weddings, that may mean 4-6 sticks of 16GB. I will see the EX at the IOV show next month but it will be more important to see editing options and a working workflow, time is money to me and I can't afford to be stuck with a pig in the poke that takes far too long to render. The only other point is that some of our USA cousins have clients with HD players and looking at the small amount of reviews on the EX it seems to give a superb picture and that extra low light ability may make the difference between a mushy pixalated church service and one that looks fine.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #68
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George, I know about the FCS udates and DVD studio. The HD on a DVD option is supposed to create a HD-DVD player compatible disk but like you I have not tried this. I suspect the reason DVD studio was not updated is that they are waiting for suitable Blu-ray burners and possibly Leopard before releasing a DVD studio upgrade or patch. I hope they don't take too long as I am primarily a Mac user.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
George, I know about the FCS udates and DVD studio. The HD on a DVD option is supposed to create a HD-DVD player compatible disk but like you I have not tried this. I suspect the reason DVD studio was not updated is that they are waiting for suitable Blu-ray burners and possibly Leopard before releasing a DVD studio upgrade or patch. I hope they don't take too long as I am primarily a Mac user.
I believe it is Leopard that is the final piece of the puzzle for Blu-Ray output. As for HD-DVD on standard DVD's, it works, but you must use MPEG2 for compatibility with earlier HD-DVD units.

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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #70
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How does one justify the additional expense and workflow time of the EX1 over HDV
Easy. Try sitting down with 4 or 5 hours of HDV to ingest. Next, do the same with XDCAM HD. You'll be getting started a lot sooner with the latter, and time is money. The ease of working with a non tape medium adds up in all the little things. Impervious to moisture and temperature, no wear and tear on heads, no need to rewind and eject for storage, instant random access to material, no timecode breaks, no accidental overwriting of existing material... and the list goes on. Placing shot marks around crucial points of your material will help locate and make subclips out of it in post. It just makes your overall work flow much easier to deal with.

Remember, the conversion process for editing is really just a re-wrap of the file container format. It's fast and painless.

Sorry to be such a cheerleader, but with XDCAM HD, I actually look forward to the post ingest process because it's so much easier to manage.

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Old September 18th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #71
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Try sitting down with 4 or 5 hours of HDV to ingest. Next, do the same with XDCAM HD. You'll be getting started a lot sooner with the latter, and time is money.
To be fair, you could record HDV on HDD recorders (e.g. Firestore) and eliminate the capture step that way, but that's maybe not quite as convenient as solid state recording.

As far as whether the average person will be able to tell the difference between footage from the EX1 and the Z1U, I'd bet they could on any decent 1080p display. A better question is whether they'd care enough to pay extra for the better footage - some will and some won't. The EX1 will likely be a fine camera for high-end wedding videographers who want to offer the best quality they can afford, and everyone else will keep shooting HDV (or DV).
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Old September 18th, 2007, 06:01 PM   #72
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To be honest, over half the pro's wont be able to tell the difference between HDV and XDCamHD. Straight out of the cam it might be considerably different considering DoF and dynamic range, but in a real world environment, I dont see it making al lthat much of a difference to the clients themselves.
Keep in mind that the EX1 records in a format which can be delivered at source quality to the consumer on Blu-ray discs, so if you do that the delivered image should be visibly better than anything else most of us can afford to offer. Plus if the DOF and low-light sensitivity are better that should make a difference where resolution wouldn't, and that's the real appeal of this camera. The EX1 won't be for everyone, but for those who get it I suspect they won't be disappointed.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 08:26 AM   #73
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Keep in mind that the EX1 records in a format which can be delivered at source quality to the consumer on Blu-ray discs, so if you do that the delivered image should be visibly better than anything else most of us can afford to offer. Plus if the DOF and low-light sensitivity are better that should make a difference where resolution wouldn't, and that's the real appeal of this camera. The EX1 won't be for everyone, but for those who get it I suspect they won't be disappointed.
HDV is no different in regard to delivery at source quality. Hell you can even deliver SD in M2t format running at 25mbps... the near ultimate option for SD delivery... aside from Digitbeta and DV50... the PS3 will easily play sd back in 25mbps on a standard disc.... BlueRay is insignificant in this regard as AVCHD 5.1 has already proven to be a viable option.

Low light is all hearsay until we see the camera in a real world environment. Not controlled...

Sadly, IMO, judging from spec and my experience with these tools over the last 8 years, I believe it will be in between the DVX100 and the Z1 in regard to response. DoF is a given, however bear in mind that many weddings clients are indifferent to DoF... if the shooter still has no clue, they're still left with unusable HD footage. It has been proven time and again that clients only want good clean imagery and frankly anyone can attain this. Its why so many cookie cutter companies have made a fortune in this industry and setting low end precedent of quality, in turn, setting an example against those of us who actually take pride in the cinematographic artistry of what we do. To be honest, not many clients care for the art. Its a sad fact. If they DID care for the art, not only would demand for it increase, but costs would inherently follow that demand. Yes there are those few discerning clients, but they're few and far between.

However we are still in the dark ages when it comes to acceptance from brides. Consider that a "lowly" photographer shooting with a Canon 20D n easily make $6k a pop. For video, not only must we stop the world but we must also justify the costs to the client. its no longer a simple matter of "this is our work and this is how much it costs."

For photography it works that way, for video, and HD to be specific, we must educate the clients as to what these differences mean to them.
In the end, they will only hear "SD or HD" Is it HD? Yes? Good, ok...

THAT'S ALL. They wont appreciate the differences as we would.. Not yet..
Trust me if they did, we would have been pumping out HD on every package for the last 2 years... but it hasn't happened and wont happen for a while. So the panic in the belief that this camera is the bees knees for weddings is a lil premature IMO considering that ANY HD capable camera can offer results for the client which are perfectly satisfactory considering the budget.

DO not EVER believe that a client will be happy to pay $1500 bucks on top of their package simply because you are using THIS camera as opposed to a HDV camera.

If a client can save $1500 bucks they will, and they do. If it's HD, that's all that matters. What KIND of HD is another issue and frankly, that issue is not important to the client. Simply because this industry, despite its evolution, still keeps its clients in the dark...
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 12:10 AM   #74
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V1U vs EX

I don't like 4 lux ratings for my biz. The A1U has CMOS and a 4 lux rating and it suxs for low light.

Having to baby sit the capturing process!!!

Greg summed it up but I thought I would back it up again.

Mike
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 04:01 AM   #75
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I'll back up what Greg says. I purchased my F350 XDCAM HD camcorder for the balance of quality and cost. At the time of purchase I didn't really care that it used disks instead of tape. Now, 18months on I WOULD NEVER GO BACK TO TAPE! I have not seen a drop out or picture glitch since switching to file based. Transfers to and from the disks are quick and never fail. I had to write back an hour long programme to HDV the other day, it was a painful process and when I reviewed the tape there was a glitch in the middle so I had to repeat the process again. Things like this just don't happen when you are file based, it's just like copying any other data file on your computer. With FCP the transfers take place in the background so you can carry on editing while your material is ingested or exported in the background. With the EX1 editing with Edius and Premiere you can edit directly from the cards, no need to transfer anything, transfers are amazingly quick when you do need to do them.

The EX1 is noticeably more sensitive than the Z1/V1 and has very very little noise. It has wonderful creative tools that you can use to enhance your productions. Maybe a timelapse sequence of the wedding venue being prepared, slow motion of the bouquet being thrown and so on.

The lens on the EX1 has fewer aberrations than the lens on my Z1, so when the iris is wide open the pictures still look sharp and clear. It has no smear and very low haze when shooting into bright light. An proper manual focus, zoom and a full size iris ring. For me the lens alone makes the EX1 a no-brainer.

While the Z1 and V1 do produce good pictures the EX1 is a quantum leap ahead, not just in terms of picture quality but in terms of workflow and creative tools. I have used a couple of demo EX1's for some test shoots and the single biggest problem was handing the cameras back to Sony. I have my order placed.
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