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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 23rd, 2007, 09:15 AM   #16
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That is very good news on the lens, and we are looking forward to getting this cam!

With our little "RIO" recorder setup for ingesting the SDI output from it, and converting to CF in field, we should have some nice material for Prospect to work with in post with PP CS3. Things are looking up!
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 03:38 PM   #17
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Apparently there is a form of CA reduction circuits in the camera.

A good lens. Not so sure on the wides. But overall a good lens. I've just used a pre-production version on a dramatic shoot and I am currently writing up a more detailed appraisal (with the caveat being that is was not a final model and still had many issues to be fully expected on such a device).
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #18
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Iris Control

Does anyone know if you can contral the iris remotely like the HVX200?

This would make it a great camera for multi-camera shoots along with the lens controls.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Very slow zooms are not a problem. The lens on the EX1 behaves exactly like the expensive canon lens I have on my F350.
I'm not as interested in slow zooms as fast ones - can you do a true snap zoom with the zoom ring on the lens? I was under the impression the zoom is still servo-driven which seems to severely limit the max speed you can zoom in.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #20
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I don't think that is the case. Like all pro manual lenses, you can disengage the servo when in manual to give you snap zoom control.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 02:16 AM   #21
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You can dis-engage the zoom servo for very fast zooms, again just like a full size lens.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 11:39 PM   #22
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Now... A version with 1080p60 would be nice... and AVC Codec would be too, intra only or IPB compressed. that would knock the HVX200 out of the park.

Plus, if 1080p60 comes, we finally might need a 1080p60 broadcast standard sooner than later...
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Old September 26th, 2007, 06:43 AM   #23
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Now... A version with 1080p60 would be nice... and AVC Codec would be too, intra only or IPB compressed. that would knock the HVX200 out of the park.

Plus, if 1080p60 comes, we finally might need a 1080p60 broadcast standard sooner than later...
Any camera with 1080p 60 will not speed up the process of broadcast adopting that standard (there are a few high end cameras that are capable of this). In fact, the opposite is true. Think later as bandwidth is the problem. With the NTSC television system, it would take a super efficient compression sceme to broadcast 1080p 60 as it takes twice the amount of bandwidth of 1080i 60. Broadcast stations are set on broadcasting 1080i 60 or 720p 60 for at least the next decade in NTSC land. Remember, they have a huge investment in high definition that has to pay off. We're seeing in the U.S. cheaper is better, even for large broadcast companies. I recently learned that Scripps/Howard owned WFTS in Tampa, Florida, went with Grass Valley Infinity cameras for their high definition news cast. They are also expected to purchase JVC 250s for their news gathering, which includes the live trucks. To date the ABC affliate still uses standard definition Beta SX for news gathering. Thus, only the studio portion of the news broadcast is high definition. We are talking Scripps/Howard, one of the largest broadcast groups in America. So for broadcast, don't count on 1080 60p for awhile.

As far as 1080p 60 in an under $10k camera, I don't expect to see that for a long time, also. It just doesn't make any business sense when 1080i and 720p look just fine. In fact, camera manufacturers are shooting themselves in the foot because more and more large companies are choosing the cheaper models (Scripps/Howard example above) instead of their more expensive models. Since this seems to be a growing trend, I think the technology is going to slow down as far as the under $10k camera is concerned. If anything although it seems unlikely to me, you might see a company come up with a way to get the 1080 60 progressive signal out, like through HDMI. But I don't foresee an actual 1080p 60 mode on an under $10k camera in the near or even distant future.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #24
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The adaption of smaller cameras for ENG work might speed up the camera development, not slow it down, but I do agree with John on 1080p60 adaption.

Many news outlets are using the Panasonic HVX200 since they can shoot DVCPro50(SD) now and more to DVCPro100(HD) without a change in gear.

I can't help but think that Sony is hoping ENG is prodded to move to HD with the Sony EX1. Given that one can use SDI out for SD (although not as efficient as SD directly to the cards) I suspect you'll see this enter the ENG market too. It's low light and high durability make this a good "war" camera too.

I do think Panasonic will counter Sony with an AVCHD I frame "prosumer" camera though. I suspect it'll be in the camera that replaces the HVX200.

The JVC 250 is HD (HDV) only with SDI out also so we're going to have an interesting battle in the ENG market. I suspect JVC will also come out with a means to easily record to non tape. It probably won't be solid state and may or may not be optical . . . might be hard drive.

No I don't see much reason for manufacturers to push 1080p60 though as stations don't have any motive to go in that direction.

The ONLY reason I can see going with a JVC250 over the HVX200 or EX1 is that it's shoulder mount (interchangeable lenses but I don't think that's critical for ENG work).
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Old September 26th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #25
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I agree with Craig.

When I look at the EX, I think wow, Sony is sort of cutting off the 330/350 line of XDCAMs at the knees with this quality/pricepoint.

But the more I think about it, maybe they are seeing that a lot of folks (big and small) just are not ready jump yet, so there are profit margins at the $10,000 price range.

One thing that will never change is budgets.

Just because it is HD does not mean all of the sudden one can afford to pay twice or more as much per camera compared to SD purchases (which they already own).
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Old September 26th, 2007, 09:50 AM   #26
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Tim, budget is a big (the biggest?) factor in all this as you note. For example, NY1 uses shoulder mount camera and 2 person crews (op and talent) for their "big name" reporters. Everyone else is one person creaw with HVX200. Reporter actually has to carry and set up their own camera so gear must be protable (small/light weight) and delivery post workflow must be similar (all P2).

There are many XDCAM cameras being used in ENG and all the SD ones are shoulder mount. I'm sure Sony would like to move ENG to HD. Hence the 330 and 350. The problem is Sony had NOTHING in the small camera market for ENG. I'm sure they saw the HVX200 flourishing and they had to do something to keep XDCAM users from moving to P2 over time.

Hence the EX1. The battle begins(!) in the small camera ENG market! Whereas the HVX200 can't truly match the quality of its bigger bros, the EX1 can match the 330/350 easily. Sony can offer card based acquisition and ingest that will work well with the optical disc version in post.

Compared to the 330/350 (335/355) Sony can sell a boatload of EX1s to news organizations. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they're thinking they can move some P2 based outlets over to XDCAM and the EX1 is a "transition" camera. There's much I can speculate on that but I'll save it for another post if someone asks why.

BTW I was an video engineer in an organization heavily invested in BetaSX so I know how purchase thinking can go (both good and bad).
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Old September 26th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #27
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It seems to me that the EX is squarely aimed at the HVX 200 and small shops 1 to 3 employees like mine. The interesting thing to me is that Sony did draw a line between the 330/350 XCDAM HD and EX lines with the fact the the EX records MP4 wrapper and XDCAM HD uses MXF, allowing direct and fast editing with Avids. So if your a big market TV station or post house you're likely to stick with the 330/350 because you don't have to convert to MXF like you would the EX. I really can't speak for smaller markets. Do they edit predominantly with Adobe and Apple FCP??? I know that end to end Avid setups are still widely used here for broadcast.

I'm not a TV station under intense deadline pressures. Relatively speaking, I have the time to convert.

Cheers

By the way, HVX 200 is also MXF encoded. It will be interesting to see if that codec wrapper starts to fade or become a standard.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #28
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David, in my market I'm seeing MANY HVX200s used for ENG work and I'm in a BIG market - NYC. So if the EX1 is aimed at HVX200 it'll get a strong look at for ENG work. I really think you exaggerate the impact of the MP4 wrapper. It'll be easy/fast to strip that off. I suspect Sony's thinking is that MP4 wrapper can broaden and ease compatibility.

News organizations think in terms of VOLUME purchases. You miss the entire budget issue. A news organization can send out many 1 person crews with the EX1. It won't replace the 330/350, it'll supplement it . . . just as the HVX200 has for its bigger P2 brethren.

There's a market / workflow battle between P2 and XDCAM and Sony, for obvious reasons, wants to win that.

Keep in mind the EX1 is HD only to card. SDI will support SD out though and they'll probably be converting that to DVCPro50 or IMX30,40,50 on the fly. Sony is trying to make it easy/affordable to ENG to move to HD and volume sales of EX1 will do more to do that than 330/350 sales. Many XDCAMs in ENG are SD only so the EX1 makes the transition affordable since it may be able to come close to the 350 in quality.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #29
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The use of smaller cams is really part of the VJ, video journalist, movement in ENG. The concept was proven usable at New York 1 and then Bay News 9 in Florida both used one reporter who also shot and edited their own stuff. The problem became it's super time consuming and hard work, especially in FL, to lug around a full shoulder mount cam and sticks to hold it. Plus, I'll add and editorial note that I feel the ease of use of a lot of the smaller cams auto features benefits the VJ style.

So now they not only get to save money because the cams are cheaper but they get to have nearly half the labor cost with very few, if any, photogs on staff. I do think both the HVX and EX are aimed at that market. They allow a light weight kit, HD delivery, and tapeless media(yet another cost savings). The EX has more upside thanks to the HD SDI out which can allow clean feeds out of the cam to a truck if need be.

More and more ENG has seen budgets and staff go down and these cams fill that bill. As usually the EX will probably produce great results in skilled users hands.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #30
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Going with mp4 instead of MXF made sense in a lot of ways. right now that only programs that support MXF are NLE's. Many graphics programs such as After Effects do not work with MXF files. In my opinion MXF was a very stupid idea and many other formats could have filled it's place. MXF is a very closed system that it hard to add support for. Using mp4 means that many graphics programs should now work with the footage right from the start without needing to convert and export to a different format from within your NLE. If you really must have MXF for a NLE then the conversion tool is very fast and it converts during transfer to your internal drives. Re-wrapping is very fast. There are even free tools out there to strip out the m2v stream from a mp4 file if you really must do that. Again these tools are very fast. I'm actually glad SONY decided to use a more open format.
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