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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 17th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #31
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John,
So what do you think of the EX? How was the show?
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Old October 17th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #32
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Steven - the EX will be the right answer for a lot of people out there. I think the workflow to backup on BluRay data is solid and reliable, and I can imagine things like automated backup software (from the cards) appearing pretty quickly for longer form producers. The demo itself was informative but dry and poorly set up for display (we were in a lit theatre without native 1080P display facilities), but the Sony guys were very accomodating and more than prepared to answer questions.

Technically I think Sony have kicked a lot of goals here- the parallel processing from the chips, the uncompressed HD-SDI I/O, the better LCD, focus assist which pixel remaps the LCD to the camera chip resolution, exposure features, express card interface, multi-format capability etc. BTW I read in another thread that the camera will only do specific frame rates - this is not true. It will work in one frame increments to the maximum speed for the resolution in 1080i (1-60) and 1080P(1-30) mode. I'm not sure about 720P.

For people who are used to shooting on these larger format handycams, the ergonomics of riding focus and adjusting iris without some kind of shoulder brace is going to be a challenge, but I'd rather have that challenge than say the Z1's focus ring.

The lens is the best I've seen in a handycam, and for a similar ENG lens you would probably be up for at least 60 -70% of the cost of the camera alone. My wide angle (13x) for the GY-HD101E cost approx $US7K - it's better than the glass on the Sony and also a touch wider but it's marginal. The bokeh was actually quite pleasing.

The pricepoint seems very good, but I'm sure some will hesitate at the lack of an SD format, the new wrapper which most NLE's are supporting by re-wrapping to MXF (on ya Sony - develop a professional wrapper for 3 years with widespread NLE support and then drop it in favour of an unsupported consumer format).

The demo footage looked pretty damn good, but as with all long GOP encoding, I could see the odd MPEG artifact on the 1920x1080P LCD they had. One thing to remember though is this was playing of one of the professional BD players that sony has, so everything would have been re-wrapped to 1440x1080 mxf , so the screen would be doing some processing of the signal, rather than pixel for pixel display.

I'm sure this camera will sell and may even encourage a lot of higher end users to migrate to Sony's XDCAM-HD format. A total XD-CAM workflow now seems to fit a multitude of budgets. Bottom line is you can't beat those 3 x 1/2" CMOS sensors, at that pricepoint. It's a no brainer for anybody who produces in HD that requires a prosumer-level handycam. Will I buy one? hmmm; I really need ENG with SD capability so I'll probably go XD-CAM HD for my next cam, but it's going to hurt the wallet a whole lot more.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #33
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The demo footage looked pretty damn good, but as with all long GOP encoding, I could see the odd MPEG artifact on the 1920x1080P LCD they had. One thing to remember though is this was playing of one of the professional BD players that sony has, so everything would have been re-wrapped to 1440x1080 mxf , so the screen would be doing some processing of the signal, rather than pixel for pixel display.

Thanks for the great info John.

The only concern I have is probably the MPEG artifacts you mentioned. Based on what I'm hearing, the 35Mbit footage has virtually no artifacts. I imagine the BD stuff might of been through the mill..Although, one would think that the demo stuff should of been at its best.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:02 AM   #34
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the new wrapper which most NLE's are supporting by re-wrapping to MXF (on ya Sony - develop a professional wrapper for 3 years with widespread NLE support and then drop it in favour of an unsupported consumer format).
I'm not sure I'm tracking you on this point.

When I spoke with the XDCAM people at the Pro Products show today they indicated that the format was the same as XDCAM HD - just on SxS.

Now, maybe I asked the wrong questions, or didn't understand you. Could you clarify? What is this new unsupported consumer format you mention?
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:16 AM   #35
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My wide angle (13x) for the GY-HD101E cost approx $US7K - it's better than the glass on the Sony and also a touch wider
Just to make sure: you are talking about the standard lens that came with the JVC HD100 (Th16x5.5BRMU)? You review this lens is better than the glass on the Sony EX?


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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:08 AM   #36
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Just to make sure: you are talking about the standard lens that came with the JVC HD100 (Th16x5.5BRMU)? You review this lens is better than the glass on the Sony EX?
No, that lens is a 16x lens. It is available as a replacement part from JVC for $2300USD.

I bet he's talking about the th13x3.5brmu, which lists around $6500 USD without a camera.

So, he's saying that a lens that sells for about the same as the EX is "marginally" better than the lens on the EX. Quite a compliment actually.

I bet that the lens optics aren't as good by a long shot- but a camera with a fixed lens like this has a huge advantage, the engineers can set up the entire camera to support that specific lens. So, it wouldn't surprise me if there was correction for any lens flaws as part of the design of the imager block, and even in the electronics like the HPX500's CAC feature.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 02:20 AM   #37
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I'm not sure I'm tracking you on this point.

When I spoke with the XDCAM people at the Pro Products show today they indicated that the format was the same as XDCAM HD - just on SxS.

Now, maybe I asked the wrong questions, or didn't understand you. Could you clarify? What is this new unsupported consumer format you mention?
OK- to answer myself...

Sony isn't using .mxf, they are instead using .mp4

I'd hardly call .mp4 an unsupported format though.

Overall I think this is a good idea, but I agree it can cause issues with a XDCAM workflow.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 06:38 PM   #38
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I bought a Rode NTG2 for my Z1 and all I can say it was a PIA to not be able to use the onboard Sony "shock mount" for the mic. Not only was the mic too small ( or hole to big), as you mentioned about the adapter, but even after trying that route it still picked up the motor noise EASILY.

I tried the shock mount that the Rode came with but that took up the shoe mount and made the cam really unbalanced. I was hoping on hope that we would be able to mount a mic right on the cam and not have motor noise on the EX but there may be noise from the internal fans.

Sony will need to make a mic that kills that noise somehow. I never bought the Sony shotgun so I don't know if this was an issue with that mic.
According to the B&H specs the Rode NTG-1 and 2 mics are fatter than the Sonys: .87" versus .78" for Sony ECM-674.

On my Sony HVR-A1U the Mic mount comes with a little rubber gasket, maybe the EX will include one as well.

On the topic of accessories: does anyone have any intel on the first places to have SxS cards in stock? I have a camera on order at B&H but they don't have the cards set-up for pre-order yet, and I am going to need a second card on day one.

Please don't post a list of retailers in response to this, as they may not be DVInfo sponsors. The link below has an email addy at the very end, if anyone reading would care to send me some suggestions :)
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 07:00 PM   #39
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According to the B&H specs the Rode NTG-1 and 2 mics are fatter than the Sonys: .87" versus .78" for Sony ECM-674.

On my Sony HVR-A1U the Mic mount comes with a little rubber gasket, maybe the EX will include one as well.
THinking of mics, I was looking for ones to match up with the EX1.

I was considering the Sony ECM-680S for general on camera use, but was wondering if you guys had some input on this matter.

I also need a pair of mics for use via wired XLR on boom poles, and I am considering a wireless setup as well. (Yes I am replacing just about everything in my studio this year.)
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 07:46 PM   #40
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Matte-box for EX

Has anyone looked at what's involved in transferring matte-boxes made for the Z1 to the EX? I've got a Chrosziel with the rail mounting designed for the Z1/FX1 and I'm betting that the EX will need something a bit different. I didn't measure up the camera in the brief time I had to look at other things. Anyone have real information? Maybe a Chrosziel mounting kit? Couldn't find anything on various websites. Obviously adapters can be made, if necessary.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 08:08 PM   #41
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Cavision has one already at: http://www.cavision.com/matteboxes/4...pon/4x5BFI.htm

Looks like they have turned the locking nut and tray holders upside down to avoid the EX's pull-out display.

They tell me this is ready now and the adapters rings will be available by the end of this month.

At the NYC event Sony had a Chrosziel MB and FF fitted, and I've seen at least one other make in another posting.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 09:20 PM   #42
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Cavision has one already at: http://www.cavision.com/matteboxes/4...pon/4x5BFI.htm

Looks like they have turned the locking nut and tray holders upside down to avoid the EX's pull-out display.

They tell me this is ready now and the adapters rings will be available by the end of this month.

At the NYC event Sony had a Chrosziel MB and FF fitted, and I've seen at least one other make in another posting.
Yes, of course. But that wasn't the question!
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 10:12 PM   #43
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Yes, of course. But that wasn't the question!
Q. Has anyone looked at what's involved in transferring matte-boxes made for the Z1 to the EX? I've got a Chrosziel with the rail

A. Looks like they have turned the locking nut and tray holders upside down to avoid the EX's pull-out display.

That model looks pretty much like their standard 4x5.65 (a MB often used with the Z1 I believe) but modified in the manner described.

Best answer I have for ya :)
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Old October 24th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #44
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Well that's the same as on the Z1, so nothing new there.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 06:52 AM   #45
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Chrosziel advise that they haven't yet seen the camera (not too surprising!), so we have to wait until it's released. Guess I'll know about the same time!
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