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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 28th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #16
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Keep in mind it takes roughly 5 minutes to input the file from 50 minutes of video on the EX1.

If you're shooting with a laptop on hand . . . input is done by the end of the shoot.
While inputing files from cards THAT computer can do other things. That same laptop can be burning disc archives too, during the shoot.

Archive is very fast. Nearly 3x going to XDCAM disc and faster than that if you're using 8GB dual layer DVD discs. While you're archiving to disc you can be using THAT computer to do something else.

By the time the camera ships I will need to do virtually NOTHING to have my edit system (FCP) recognize the file. A plugin will handle the .mp4 wrapper. I suspect many other edit systems will offer equally compelling support with help from Sony.

My time AND my computer's time are much better utilized by not having to tie up ANY COMPUTER with hours of tape ingest time in which THAT computer can do nothing else.

THAT computer (and I) can do many other things during the fast ingest and fast archive.

I can actually make duplicate copies of DL DVD or XDCAM discs for redundent archive as fast as or faster than I can ingest tape a single time. All the while the computer (and I) remain free to do other tasks.

Personally I'd never leave tape ingest unattended. Way too many things can go wrong from unobserved time code breaks to system issue that can stall the ingest.

I can actually ingest AND archive from cards faster than a tape ingest and even introduce a redundent archive in that time and still be able to use that computer for other tasks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
Tape capture can be done in bulk with only a couple minutes of attention per hour of footage while doing something else productive (like editing on another computer), and at the end of the capture process you also have an archive copy of your source footage on the original tape. With the EX1 you'll have to transfer the video data to your computer, possibly process it to be recognizable by your editing program, and take time to make at least one redundant/archive copy somewhere. I don't see much if any time savings there overall, so the main advantage is getting rapid access to your footage if you have a tight deadline to meet.

Last edited by Craig Seeman; October 28th, 2007 at 11:12 AM.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #17
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Basically there are very distinct differences between the HVX200 and EX1. It may well depend on what one is using the HVX for.

HVX does DVCPro50 (standard def 4:2:2) to P2.
HVX can record DV (4:1:1) to tape.
HVX can record Standard Def 16:9
HVX recodes DVCPro100 (HD 4:2:2) to P2
P2 is supported by a good part of Pansonic's camera line.
If those are compelling needs the EX1 doesn't offer an alternative.

EX1 offers longer HD record times per GB (by using long GOP currrently at 4:2:0).
EX1 offers faster Xfer from cards than HVX
EX1 offers HD-SDI out (4:2:2)
EX1 offers 1/2" chips at full 1920x1080 (compared to 1/3" 960x540 pixel shifted to a higher rez)
EX1 offers nearly 1000 lines of resolution (compared to 540 or so)
XDCAM is supported by a good portion of Sony's line (although this is the only card based .mp4 camera so far and records 1920x1080 rather than 1440x1080 though)

Yes there's plenty of overlap like over/undercrank but it's the unique features that will drive one to purchase one or the other camera.

In this "transition" period from SD to HD, the HVX has a compelling set of SD features the EX doesn't have. On the other hand the EX has a very compelling set of HD only features (if you're ok with long GOP 4:2:0).

I favor the EX1 but it does NOT mean HVX owners should jump unless they have a compelling reason to.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 11:07 AM   #18
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Hi Craig.
Just a quick question as I´m trying to get my head around the workflow here.

If I was to burn DVD´s after a days shoot and hand it to the direector to bring back to the editor (as I usually do with tapes), will the editor be able to work with this DVD´s as "masters" or do I need to bring the copies of the files on my hard disk to him later using an external hard disk?

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Old October 28th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #19
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The data DVDs would be masters.

The client would need Sony's viewer (which would be free download) to everyone. You can probably burn it on to the disc for the client.

The client would need the appropriate plugin for their NLE (workflow may depend on the NLE).

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The above is one reason I think the EX1 (card based XDCAM) is MUCH better than HDV.

Hand a client an HDV tape and they'll have to deal with Sony, Canon, JVC format compatible deck. Each camera has variants NOT COMPATIBLE with the other.

With Sony's viewer the client won't even have to have a deck to view the masters.

If the client has the appropriate NLE plugin they won't have to worry about tape deck ingest issues.

With disc backup. The client has a disc master, you can have a disc master, you can have a hard drive master that you made the disc from. Lots of redundency there, therefore much safer than handing the client an HDV tape.

I feel MUCH SAFER handing a client a disc with master files after the shoot that they can view with a free player than handing them an HDV tape.

For me, the above answers the question of what do you hand a client when you shoot to SxS cards (no tape).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joachim Hoge View Post
Hi Craig.
Just a quick question as I´m trying to get my head around the workflow here.

If I was to burn DVD´s after a days shoot and hand it to the direector to bring back to the editor (as I usually do with tapes), will the editor be able to work with this DVD´s as "masters" or do I need to bring the copies of the files on my hard disk to him later using an external hard disk?

Thanks
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Old October 28th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
Tape capture can be done in bulk with only a couple minutes of attention per hour of footage while doing something else productive
I think this misses a huge advantage of solid state formats, which is the way they present material in the logging application. Its very easy to get all your logging information in with your transfer, on a take by take basis.

If you do the unattended ingest, you have a mess for the assistant- or for the editor if you don't have an assistant.

Depending on what you are shooting this may or may not be an issue. I mean, if I am inter-cutting two cameras from a live event, then who cares- I am more worried about time code and sync.

On the other hand if I am shooting a project with a high ratio, say 15:1, I need the notes to be in the system so the editor has a concept what the director and DP were up to.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #21
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One important aspect of (potentially unattended) ingesting from one 8GB card while recording to another, is that with a card getting full while shooting, the camera will span a take over two cards. Does anyone know wheter this will be taken care of automatically by the supplied software?
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Old October 28th, 2007, 12:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Basically there are very distinct differences between the HVX200 and EX1. It may well depend on what one is using the HVX for.

...

In this "transition" period from SD to HD, the HVX has a compelling set of SD features the EX doesn't have. On the other hand the EX has a very compelling set of HD only features (if you're ok with long GOP 4:2:0).

I favor the EX1 but it does NOT mean HVX owners should jump unless they have a compelling reason to.
I've argued this point before here, and I want to say I agree with Craig.

I think the decision comes down to what format your work requires. I have HD clients and indie film... some of you may have strictly SD stuff on the job board.

If you are a transitional production, then the HVX seems to be a must have in this price range. I would buy an HVX200 if I had mostly SD work in my future outlook- because its going to work better for that sort of work.

If you are HD only, or expect to be rather soon, then the EX1 is the must have.

I wouldn't buy an EX1 if I had an HVX200, unless I had a pile of HD only work coming my way. For a lot of HD clients the HVX200 is considered a "non HD camera."
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Old October 28th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
One important aspect of (potentially unattended) ingesting from one 8GB card while recording to another, is that with a card getting full while shooting, the camera will span a take over two cards. Does anyone know wheter this will be taken care of automatically by the supplied software?
Well I know that with P2 the camera will create a new take for you. Almost as if you had pressed the button and started a new take.

That is why when shooting "film style" I use a single card only and treat it as a film mag. I never want a single take split over two cards.

Under these circumstances, if you use free run time code, as opposed to rec run, then it will be obvious that the camera did this, because there will be no time code lapse between the clips. If I actually pressed the button there would always be a break in free run code.

(with rec run TC, all the clips will have contiguous time code.)

I just don't trust an editor down the line, even if it was me, to notice such a subtle point. An editor might just think its a new take with a tail slate- and that could confuse things, especially if there are double slated shots later on.

For events or the like where the entire thing is supposed to be captured in a take... then it won't matter. For ENG work you'll be scrubbing for content regardless of TC, so again it won't matter. I trust you can see the other places it won't be an issue- perhaps better than I.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 01:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
The data DVDs would be masters.

The client would need Sony's viewer (which would be free download) to everyone. You can probably burn it on to the disc for the client.

The client would need the appropriate plugin for their NLE (workflow may depend on the NLE).
Thanks Again Craig.
As stated before, I just ran into the problem of handeling over HDV tapes to the production house. They couldnīt play them back and that means I have to go there tomorrow with my camera so they can capture the footage. Luckily I have the morning off (or had).

To Alexander:
Even if one is doing lot if SD work one could just burn SD downconvert and burn SD files I suppose. I do not know how long that would take on a laptop though. Just a thought
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Old October 28th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim View Post
I would buy an HVX200 if I had mostly SD work in my future outlook- because its going to work better for that sort of work.
It's worth bearing in mind that you can always downconvert to SD and still get a very good SD product - UPCONVERTING is a different matter altogether.......... Same with SD 16:9/4:3, originating 16:9 and deriving 4:3 is far more satisfactory than the opposite because of the interlace effect. Hence, if time permits, there's a lot to be said for always shooting HD and downconverting as required. The HD rushes or master can always then be revisited in the future. (When you find more demand for HD.)

A more valid reason (at least in SD) for not going for the EX is when a client demands a tape in the right format (for them) straight after shooting. In this case, the choice isn't only the HVX, but the Z1, JVC, or Canon cameras. Each of which have their own USPs.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 05:53 PM   #26
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It's worth bearing in mind that you can always downconvert to SD and still get a very good SD product
...
Hence, if time permits, there's a lot to be said for always shooting HD and downconverting as required. The HD rushes or master can always then be revisited in the future. (When you find more demand for HD.)
I don't disagree, and downconversion with cropping to 4:3 if needed is the workflow that I will be following for my SD work.

Less than a quarter of my work is SD, and it makes me less than 10% of my income. I can live with the EX1. The inconveniences of my SD workflow are unimportant compared to the advantages to my HD work.

What I am saying is that if most of your work is SD then the EX1 is not a great camera choice. The HVX is a better choice if you do primarily SD work.

I think the words primarily and most are getting lost here. It doesn't make sense to have to downconvert the majority of what you are shooting.

In regards to shooting material that may be revisited in the future, I believe that in these cases DVCPRO HD at 720p from the HVX200 is good enough. I can tell you from experience that it will look fine intercut with Viper or HDCAM footage and even projected at 2K. I haven't seen it intercut with RED yet, but I see no reason that wouldn't work out.

The HVX is in many ways an inferior camera to the EX1, on the spec sheet and in my opinion, but when you are looking at SD video, and a transition to HD work then it is hard to beat. Until we heard about the EX1 the HVX was the apple of many of our eyes after all.

If the EX1 offered some of the XDCAM SD modes, the equation would be changed quite a bit in this regard. Even more so if it offered XDCAM 4:2:2 recording on SxS.

Well, maybe the EX2.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim View Post
Until we heard about the EX1 the HVX was the apple of many of our eyes after all.

Many, but not myself. I pulled out of my preorder after we ran various tests.
Don't get me wrong, the HVX200 can produce nice stuff, but plan on lighting well, as you should.

The HVX200 is a bit soft, especially wide and is a bit on the noisy side under low light conditions. The noise was a surprise. I would of thought it would of faired better since its use of pixel shift.

The HVX200's glass and CCD support SD a lot better than HD.
SD using DVCPRO50 looks nice on this cam.
Our rez tests had the HX200 around 550 lines. If the EX comes close to 1000 as were hearing, it should look real sweet.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 08:27 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim View Post
.
What I am saying is that if most of your work is SD then the EX1 is not a great camera choice. The HVX is a better choice if you do primarily SD work.
.
I disagree with this. Currently all my work is SD. I currently own an SD camera. I do not like the HVX as an HD camera. I want to expand my client base to HD clients as well as move a portion of my current clients to HD.

I have NO reason to by another SD camera with HD features I don't like. I could get an HDV camera with better HD resolution than the HVX (JVC series for example but there are others).

I'd MUCH rather downconvert from the EX1 than buy an HVX and use it as an SD camera. If I wanted a DVCPro50 4:2:2 camera that recorded to cards I'd be interested in the HVX but that's not where my business is going. At DVCPro50 it uses a bit more card capacity than the EX1 in HDHiQ and double the EX1 in 25mbps mode. In addition the P2 transfer times are slower.

My business is going to expand to HD and I want a camera who's HD quality will help persuade my clients to move that way as well as good enough to pursue clients already interested in HD. 1/2" chips, 35mbps, ability to deliver an easy to view disc (over an HDV tape with issues noted in earlier post or trying to figure out what to deliver from a P2 card) all lead me to the EX1 even though my business is currently Standard Def.

HD-DVD players are down to about $250. Blu-Ray is closing in on $400. On the next round of price drops, businesses and consumers who are paying $1000 for HDTVs may start buying players. By some point next year HD delivery will be viable IMHO.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 08:46 PM   #29
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The HVX 200 does not have the same number of pixels on its sensors. In fact, it has the least number of pixels than any HD camera on the market. You probably should re-check your facts.
Yes, that's what I was trying to say: the HVX starts with 518,400 pixels before processing for recording, and the EX1 ends up with 518,400 color samples per frame after processing. So anyone concerned about the EX1 not having 4:2:2 color should compare it to what the alternatives are first.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #30
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Hey Joachim. I was in Bergen, Norway in September. Also spent some time in Stord. I took my HD110u and HV10.

Anyway, for me it comes down to higher rez at 4:2:0 or lower rez at 4:2:2. The HVX is a great video tool because it does everything. It doesn't do everything better, but it does everything.

The EX1 doesn't do everything, but it does some things better. I'm looking for the best 1080P for BluRay so I am selling my 3 month old XHA1 and just placed my order for the EX1.
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