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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 October 8th, 2007, 08:11 AM   #16
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Two things:

(1) What is the bit depth of the internal processing circuitry?

(2) Will the cameras allow use of less expensive SSD cards or actively block them, even if they have sufficient throughput?
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Old October 8th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #17
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Running Question List

Mark
Here's a running list of all questions asked on this thread.

All, if you have a question, copy this list into your message,
and add it to the bottom of the list.
This will help Mark with the questions.

1. Will the camera support a flip system for use with 35mm adapters ?

2. What are the transfer rates from SxS to XDCAM ?

3. Will it be now possible to preserve the 1920x1080 format to XDCAM Disc instead of 1440 ?

4. How many stops of dynamic range the EX has, and how it compares to the 1/2" chip DV models?

5. Are Progressive Segmented Frame modes (25PsF, 30PsF) available through i.LINK (at 25Mbps CBR)?

6. What kind of proprietary adapter is required to use the lens remote controller?

7. Is the HD-SDI output live only and/or will it output recorded footage from the SxS cards at both bitrates?

8. Can the EX record to card and output SD out of SDI (downconvert) simultaneously and with matching timecode?

9. Will the EX accept a standard fujinon remote lens controller?

10. Will the EX be able to adapt (in any way) previous Lanc controllers such as the Manfrotto 523P?

11. Will the live HD-SDI output offer real 10bits and not 8 bits stuffed into a 10bit SDI stream?

12. What requirements are for mobile workstations ( PC laptop clock speed, current MacBookPro or MacBook,
Vista and Leopard compatibility), RAM size, Hard disk speed requirements?

13. Can you copy HQ footage directly to FCS5or6 timeline without capturing or rendering?

14. What are the best software options on PC?

15. How does it performs against green or blue ( or other color) screen?

16. How flexible is footage for coloring in native format?

17. Will there be a firmware upgrade in the future so that one can store 1920x1080 at 35 mbs from the
iLink/firewire port on for example a new FIRESTORE model?

18. Why no HDMI out?

19. Can we use the bundled XDCAM Transfer tool on a PPC Mac, or is it only for Intel Macs?

20. Can the EX1 record to DR60 (in SP mode, of course) without any SxS card inserted (or with them both 100% full)?

21. What is the bit depth of the internal processing circuitry?

22. Will the cameras allow use of less expensive SSD cards or actively block them, even if they have sufficient throughput?
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Old October 8th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Peter, you can only write 500Mb of non-XDCAM HD mxf data to the prodisk system and that has to go in a special "general" folder. It will not let you write whatever you want to the disks to preserve the integrity of the file system. A pain perhaps but it makes it just about impossible to produce corrupt or unusable disks.
Interesting, I'll check this out next time i get a chance, but I was specifically referring to using BD/XDCam as storage/archival device, not a disc which is similar to what comes out of an F350. My meaning is to literally copy to HDD and burn back to BD... MP4 formatted (wrapper inc.) not MXF.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #19
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Poor Mark :)

The list is a good idea nevertheless; I'd remove some of the questions however - like no. 18...One could as well ask "Why not shoulder-mount?"

What's done is done, guys!
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Old October 8th, 2007, 12:38 PM   #20
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I can answer most of these now is you like..


1. Will the camera support a flip system for use with 35mm adapters ?
((Not at this time))

2. What are the transfer rates from SxS to XDCAM ?
((this is yet to be determined due to individualised system specs, in any case, its best to xfer to HDD then archive to BD. XDCam ProDisc is restricted to 1440x1080. This is being looked at for refinement, but as it stands, the best option for archive is BD with original MP4 wrapper intact))

3. Will it be now possible to preserve the 1920x1080 format to XDCAM Disc instead of 1440 ?
((MP4 as an archive yes, MXF as an editing format, not at this time. This is being looked at, see above))

4. How many stops of dynamic range the EX has, and how it compares to the 1/2" chip DV models?
((It doesnt compare. Its a different beast so comparisons have no place. In essence if you want to check DR ranges, best to consider the F350 spec at full wide. FStop is based on telephoto zoom through, in turn, you lose about half a stop at full tele. In addition, downconverting XDCam to DV res will yield a close to 422 colour space. In 8bit and rendering in 32bit float will literally make DigiBeta and DVCpro50 look a bit like poo. As for 1/2 imagers at lower res, consider that theyre still restricted to the colour space of the codec their recorded to ))

5. Are Progressive Segmented Frame modes (25PsF, 30PsF) available through i.LINK (at 25Mbps CBR)?
((unknown to me ))

6. What kind of proprietary adapter is required to use the lens remote controller?
((This is yet to be announced))

7. Is the HD-SDI output live only and/or will it output recorded footage from the SxS cards at both bitrates?
((BOTH?? HD SDI will output whatever is on the card, irrespective of bitrate. ))

8. Can the EX record to card and output SD out of SDI (downconvert) simultaneously and with matching timecode?
((Unsure about timecode. The capture source however is based on your NLE and SDI cards capture capabilities. Most cards can capture SD from any input source. Why you would want to is another question altogether though))

9. Will the EX accept a standard fujinon remote lens controller?
((No.. not yet in any case))

10. Will the EX be able to adapt (in any way) previous Lanc controllers such as the Manfrotto 523P?
((If someone designs an anapter plug, then yes. As it stands, the lens remote PLUG is proprietary however the control atributes are very common. In turn, i see a myriad of hybrids being released, however there is a reason for it being this way. Just give it time ))

11. Will the live HD-SDI output offer real 10bits and not 8 bits stuffed into a 10bit SDI stream?
((Unsure about this))

12. What requirements are for mobile workstations ( PC laptop clock speed, current MacBookPro or MacBook,
Vista and Leopard compatibility), RAM size, Hard disk speed requirements?
((if your laptop has an inbuilt PCI Card slot, then it should conform, as most newer lappys with this slot are powerful enough to ingest. ))

13. Can you copy HQ footage directly to FCS5or6 timeline without capturing or rendering?
((Sadly this is an NLE question. Best to discuss with your NLE manufcturer. However, FCP has always required you to do SOMETHING to most of your material to get the best performance from the NLE. The "de-wrapper' application will come with the camera. As it stands MP4 on the timeline itself is not possible from what ive been advised. This might change))

14. What are the best software options on PC?

((Sony will be demonstrating the EX1 using Sony Vegas 8.
For PC, Sony Vegas is the best option for a number of reasons.
1) Smartrendering of long gop (SD or HDV or XDCam)
2) XDCam Explorer media management goes above and beyond Avid
3) Standard Media Manager works alongside XDCam explorer. For studio and broadcast, this is incredible as the entire database can be tracked and tagged with metatags to ensure fast and prompt searching of material.
4) Vegas 8 offers 32bit float colour processing. Yes its slower but not much slower than a high end Mac. In addition, there is no need to input 10bit files and render to uncompressed to get the same if not similar results as 10bit. Its a much more efficient workflow and the program does not leave the 8bit realm. Results have already proven to exceed 10bit limitations.
5) Audio. Vegas supports almost all audio formats on the market today with an inbuilt 5.1 surround sound mixer and mixing console.
6) BD format processing and delivery with 5.1 surround sound - full raster 1920x1080p AVCHD 5.1 can be rendered from the timeline without much fuss and burnt to dvd5 discs. PS3 already supports this with the latest firmware

15. How does it performs against green or blue ( or other color) screen?
((Pretty much exactly like an F350 would. ))

16. How flexible is footage for coloring in native format?
((See number 14.. also consider existing long GOP workflows.))

17. Will there be a firmware upgrade in the future so that one can store 1920x1080 at 35 mbs from the
iLink/firewire port on for example a new FIRESTORE model?
((Unknown at this time, doubtful though, as SxS cards are what are being pushed along with the camera itself))

18. Why no HDMI out?
((because SDI can be adapted for HDMI (if required)- These adapters are known and plentiful. HDMI is also a consumer "adapter" This is not a consumer camera though))

19. Can we use the bundled XDCAM Transfer tool on a PPC Mac, or is it only for Intel Macs?
((cant speak for mac im afraid.. .. ))

20. Can the EX1 record to DR60 (in SP mode, of course) without any SxS card inserted (or with them both 100% full)?
((No offense, but this would be like driving a car at top speed with 2 flat tyres. Dont risk ANY HDD unles you plan to back up at the same time. As it stands the camera will not "record" if a card is not inserted with sufficient capacity. The camera was not designed to read capacities on Hard Drives... only SxS cards. ))

21. What is the bit depth of the internal processing circuitry?
((This was not disucssed.. yet.. find out more on the 17th but in all honesty take an f350 and shrink it.. this is pretty much it))

22. Will the cameras allow use of less expensive SSD cards or actively block them, even if they have sufficient throughput?
((The cards will work.. how WELL they work is a different question altogether. This is purely based on speed and reliability))
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Old October 8th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Poor Mark :)

The list is a good idea nevertheless; I'd remove some of the questions however - like no. 18...One could as well ask "Why not shoulder-mount?"

What's done is done, guys!
Good point, given the choice, I'd rather have SDI out over HDMI any day.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 04:17 AM   #22
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Very nice camera. Had a good play but it wasn't possible to do critical tests. Ergonomics very good, nicely compact. 16GB cards are $1100 + GST, but that is a particular technology that will get much cheaper (remember 64MB jump memory sticks). 14 bit processing at A/D. Very nice facilities for configuring picture profiles. Can output to external recorder without cards installed. No one knows about the lens controller -- there is a socket but so far nothing to plug into it. No LANC. Suggest there is presently no rival in its price range.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #23
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I have noticed the PMW-EX1 will ship to Sydney starting at around $9995 through one particular shop.

Would this be a wise buy? or should i look at the sony Z1 which is still around the $6500?

A think if i hang on a bit the Sony Z1 should drop in price... who knows.


Regards
Simon
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Old October 9th, 2007, 05:26 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
No one knows about the lens controller -- there is a socket but so far nothing to plug into it. No LANC.
Strange, there was a photo of it from IBC showing I think a Manfrotto LANC controller plugged in via an adaptor cable and working. Well I assume it was working, would seem rather daft of Sony to put in the public's hands if it didn't work.

Thanks for the mini review, us Syndeysiders have to wait a week to get our paws on one.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
Strange, there was a photo of it from IBC showing I think a Manfrotto LANC controller plugged in via an adaptor cable and working. Well I assume it was working, would seem rather daft of Sony to put in the public's hands if it didn't work.
Bob, that was a Libec Fujinon zoom controller, still requiring some sort of adapter.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 05:30 AM   #26
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The Z1 is a very good camera and you need to carefully consider if you need what you get for another $4K. At this time tapes are a lot cheaper than cards, so there are operational costs as well. HDV is a fine medium, so you have to use your head rather than your heart (good advice to myself also).
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Old October 9th, 2007, 07:02 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
I have noticed the PMW-EX1 will ship to Sydney starting at around $9995 through one particular shop.

I think if I hang on a bit the Sony Z1 should drop in price... who knows.
To be honest, for HDV, I would recommend the A1 over the Z1 (I sold my Z1's).

The simple fact of pure tweakability is what makes the A1 just that much more versatile, not to mention the full raster 1440x1080 res. It would be a doddle to match the A1 with the EX. I matched the DVX100 to the A1 in under 7 minutes. The EX might need to be dumbed down a little, but not so much as it would need to be to match a Z1

As for the cam, retail is about $13K, street price is $10,500. Anything less is probably an import or the store is undercutting and taking a loss to increase numbers with Sony to get a better dealers price later on
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Old October 9th, 2007, 07:26 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
The Z1 is a very good camera and you need to carefully consider if you need what you get for another $4K. At this time tapes are a lot cheaper than cards, so there are operational costs as well. HDV is a fine medium, so you have to use your head rather than your heart (good advice to myself also).
It comes purely down to business...
The question raised... Will you make MORE money with the EX, or the same as though you were shooting with a HDV camcorder?

If the answer is yes, how MUCH more? Irrespective of the environment, or the flexibility or performance of the camera itself, it all comes down to the dollar. How much we spend, and how much our clients are willing to spend for us to use ths technlogy on ther behalf.

We all know and love new toys, but realistically, if the camera doesnt pay itself off in about 2 or 3 jobs (or for many event videogs its 4 to 6), in addition to making editing life easier in the longrun, then its something to really think about.

I just bought an A1 because i had this exact same dillema.. buy an 1xEX or 2xA1's.... or 2xEX's ?? Almost a year ago, i was playing with an F350... now with this cameras existance, I just took my additional $20k out of Sonys pocket..
It makes you think..

Throughout this tossup the question remained.. how much am i spending vs how much do i NEED to spend vs how much will i make in return?

Frankly, i couldnt justify the argument. So im sitting on my lawrels until I suss out the market even further.

I bought 2 Z1's on launch and for my business, the investment didnt hold true. Not because of the camera, but simply because the market i targetted hadnt (and to be honest, STILL DOESNT) have a need for HD.

I was lucky enough to sell them at a good price, and im glad i did because the A1 now, to my eye, is a much more robust camera for the kind of work i do. Then again the A1 is about 2.5yrs younger.. so its to be expected.

The point?
Things change... this is the first of many cameras of this kind.. and we should also be expecting more and more to come, as we have always done in the past.
In 2 years, i dont doubt that the next best thing to arrive will also blow us away..

I also dont doubt that Panasonic will inject the HVX with steroids and may have already gone back to redesigning it to include the new AVCHD PRo format with the addition of a larger imager. Nothing surpries me in this game anymore.

This cam did surprise me though, but it was to be expected with the ongoing issues of HDV we all hear about.
But in the end, we will always be pleasantly surprised and we'll be walking away with thinner wallets as technology advances and our demands are met by the manufacturers. But are these damneds of OUR clients? or OUR OWN?
Are you working for YOU or YOUR CLIENT?

Thinking long and hard about it, I am STILL trying to decide whether the EX is really a NEED.. moreso than a WANT...
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Old October 9th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #29
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The official price is about $9300 (+GST) inc two 8GB cards (intro offer); I didn't note the price figure quoted, but VideoGuys price matches that offer.

If looking for alternatives the V1 would have to be there. In my case I was an early adopter of HDV and I've been waiting for a significantly better camera at an affordable price; the EX looks like it to me.

The answer for input to Vegas Pro 8 is that currently the recorded files have to be converted through the Clip Browser (that comes with the camera), but this was very quick. However later versions of Vegas (8a or 8b) will have the capability built in. Final Cut Pro will have capability for direct ingestion once the camera is released. Edius Pro (Broadcast version only) now will digest direct from the cards.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #30
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Hi All,

Mark, Thank You very-very much for great job on Sony's event .
Thank You Steven on helping Mark to make order in questionnaire.

Mark, Your answers were informative and helpful.
As You described Sony hasn't yet answers or solution for every detail on camera. I don't worry about workflow and hardware so much any more.
Still I'm worried about screening and coloring of footage. It is not every day job to do but in some scenarios only way to meet customer requirements.

I think also what Peter said about WHAT CUSTOMER NEEDS or WANTS.
Yes, we are in trouble with archiving EX raw footage and with "ready footage to customer delivery methods". High DEf DVD players are still so far from customers.

Sulev
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