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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 19th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #1
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What's your thoughts about a B cam for the ex?

I have an HV20 but I'm thinking I should invest in something sony for a B cam, any suggestions or thoughts out there? My B cams, by the way, would see alot of abuse and would most likely be destroyed within a year so I'd like to keep it around a thousand.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 11:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Matt Buys View Post
I have an HV20 but I'm thinking I should invest in something sony for a B cam, any suggestions or thoughts out there? My B cams, by the way, would see alot of abuse and would most likely be destroyed within a year so I'd like to keep it around a thousand.
I see no reason to invest in "something sony" for a B cam.

That's what the color correction tools are for. Most edit software makes it easy for you to match different cams on a scene by scene basis.

That Canon should serve you well until it finally fails. When it does then go shopping.
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Old October 20th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #3
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Both being CMOS helps matching. I imagine even easier to match if both shot at 1440x1080 mode with pulldown to 60i. Just a guess though.
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Old October 20th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #4
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I started my current film project on a Sony HDR-FX1, then a HVR-A1U and also have clips shot on an assortment of small SD cameras like the 1st gen' Canon Elura, an even less capable JVC GR-D33U and even a couple of 5MP point and shoot still cameras (though admittedly with the last of these I am doing some very careful still-shot selection and then some elaborate pan and scan work in After Effects, to create the impression that these are moving clips.)

I no longer have access to the HDR-FX1 but it I did, I think it would be a great B-camera, especially as it performs so well in low light (compared to the HVR-A1U. That said, the A1U has some qualities that can be really useful. You can strip it down to 'handy-cam' dimensions and get it into places, where the bigger cameras would cause you grief (I once got chased off the steps of the Sydney Opera House with a bigger set-up but returned 30 minutes later with the A1U and got the shot I wanted.

If 24P was a consideration then I guess the V1U would be a good choice but it always seems expensive to me. For the more budget conscious, and those wishing not to be so wedded to Sony, the HV20 must be worth a look.

I also like the still shot capabilities of the A1U, which I use to do time-lapse shots every once in a while.

Next-up I'll be shooting stuff on the EX and inter-cutting this with my witches-brew of sources. I need to do some tests but I'll probably end up using the 25 MBPS 1080x1440 mode.

Can't say I'm particularly daunted by this. I've set 1080x1440 HDV as my project format so far (and have been uprezzing the SD stuff with Digital Anarchy). I'll post those tests as soon as I can.

The link below has clips from all the cameras described above. There's no color correction applied here and you'll notice some clips are visibly different but even so, I still think that I am going to end up with a reasonably set of well matched material (after cc).

Admittedly I have that 'split-screen' thing going-on, which get's me off the hook in many situations. I'll probably use the EX exclusively for my full frame shots, the HDV-originated material for the 2 and 4 pane sequences, and the SD and still camera clips for the 9 pane sequences.

I guess I am saying that the A1U will be 'B' camera once the EX arrives but if I had to buy that 'B' today, I might go for the FX1 (which are plummeting in price).

This probably sounds really Sony-biased and I suppose it is but I don't really have any strong loyalty to them. I tried really hard to buy the HVX-200 instead of my EX but, all things considered the Sony won the race (largely because I wanted the 1080x1440 mode to match with my HDV material AND the 1080x1920 24P upgrade path for my next project).
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Old October 20th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #5
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This probably sounds really Sony-biased and I suppose it is but I don't really have any strong loyalty to them. I tried really hard to buy the HVX-200 instead of my EX but, all things considered the Sony won the race (largely because I wanted the 1080x1440 mode to match with my HDV material AND the 1080x1920 24P upgrade path for my next project).
Paul, Nice stuff. It looks like you've put a lot of hard work into your documentary. I think you made the right choice based on what you've shot thus far. After color grading, everything will match fine. Nice work!!

Good Luck...
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Old October 20th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #6
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Thanks David, BTW, I've always really liked the Sunflower sting of your website, so there's a compliment back at ya!

Now, if only we could swap the .wmv movies for QTs!

(sorry, ignore me, I work for Apple and I've had the mandatory staff brain implant ;)
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