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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 December 4th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #16
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Great observations, Brian

Brian,
Like you, I shoot with DSR 300 cameras, and I think I've been waiting for just such a report. I'm just about completely sold on the EX, but it will be a tough switch from the shoulder mount. I'm thinking of laying out more cash to get a full size XDCAM HD as well as an EX1.
I've heard that PremierPro with an Axio LE card will handle the clips without any render needed. Anyone know if this is true? I'm still using the very old SpeedRazor 5.51 with a Digisuite card. It's old, but I know it well, and it does all I need (with my boris RED). I assume I'll need a new BorisRED copy as well....
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Old December 4th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #17
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Thomas, the good old Speed Razor + Digisuite was a fantastic package - it was a robust edit suite but I had to exchange it for an RT100 extreme + Premiere for faster DVD encodes (I also got free with this bundle a 1001 crashes of all different sorts!!!) I too was actively considering the XDCAM HD but was concerned that it might not be as low light as the 300. In fact the 300 is stated as f11 @ 2000lux whilst the 330 and 350 are stated as f9. Also the 1hr 25 min recording time of a single layer XDCAM disc does put me a bit off. The EX can have a 100min recording time (with x2 16GB) and double that in the near future even though the cards are very expensive. Another negative thing on the EX that I didn't mention in my post but is quite important for persons like you Thomas, since you are familiar with the 300, is that Sony did not include a D-Tap output. This output allows one to switch on and off the on-board light with the trigger switch (and the lamp also draws power directly from the camera battery - hence no extra batteries to carry and no wires!). I still have to configure what I am going to do!

I've tested the clips shot at 1080/50i with the Matrox RT2 and CS3 and found that one have to render the clips. I've also tested the clips with CS3 + Main Concept - the clips do not need to be rendered but since the RT2 hardware is not used all transitions and slow motion has to be rendered! I'm presently in constant discussion with my Sony dealer who happens to be a Matrox dealer as well. He will be tesing out the Axio tomorrow becasue he is suspecting that the rendering issue with the RT2 is due to the fact that the RT2 does not support 1920x1080. I suspect that if I film at 1440x1080 the RT2 would not render the clips as it supports such resolution.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #18
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Axio LE Testing

Brian,
As soon as you get the news on the AXIO test, please post it here. I'm anxious to see if it will handle the footage without render.
Your observation about the d-tap issue is very important. I love my ultralight.
Here's my company www.gregoryfilms.com

Also, The XDCAM HD I am considering is the 50gb/disc model. I think that camera, coupled along with an EX (or 2?) would make a killer multi cam wedding setup. Sony has a great 0% finance offer right now that is very tempting.....
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Old December 4th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #19
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I was able to borrow an EX1 for testing purposes this weekend and used it to record two wedding ceremonies in dark churches, using both the SxS cards and a Firestore FS4 with the EX1 running in SP mode. The EX1 images were a bit grainier than I'd hoped but other videographers present thought the low-light response was good. Some of the EX1 controls are cumbersome compared to typical event video cameras, especially the shutter speed controls. Transfer of SxS footage to my Dell laptop ran at about 8:1 speed and I was able to view the first wedding ceremony on screen while the couple was still getting their photos taken afterwards. When I got home I made a duplicate of the footage on a bus-powered USB2 hard drive which I'm now using as my master copy.

I have mixed feelings about using an EX1 for weddings but the low-light image quality is better than any other HD camera under $10K. If you can afford it and get the footage to work in your editing software it's worth considering.

Last edited by Kevin Shaw; December 4th, 2007 at 03:04 PM. Reason: finish post
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Old December 4th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #20
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Kevin: what SD camera has you used to shoot wedding? How do you compare the low light performance of the EX1 to those?
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Old December 4th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yang Wen View Post
what SD camera has you used to shoot wedding? How do you compare the low light performance of the EX1 to those?
I'm currently shooting with two Sony FX1s and an HC1. The EX1 is clearly better than either of these in low light but not as much better than the FX1 as I'd hoped. With the FX1 I can push gain all the way to 18db and still get a usable image, but the EX1 images look poor above 6-9db gain and have a more pronounced type of noise similar to the HC1. The end result is that the EX1 is useful in slightly dimmer light than the FX1 and with much better image quality, provided you limit the gain accordingly. Biggest difference is in the ability to resolve details in shadow areas in poor light, which the EX1 does well where the FX1 looks bad. But I would have liked to see a little more sensitivity on the EX1 or be able to boost the gain more without having the noise take over, so it's not quite the 'see in the dark' camera I'd hoped it would be.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #22
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Thomas I've had a look at your website and I've noticed that your 300 is equipped with 2 cordless mics receivers - no fat chance of having those on the EX! That's another issue - the body is so small and roundish that I can find no place were to velcro attach any receiver - except maybe at the base of the camera. Or else I'm thinking of buying this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...and_Sound.html

or this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...mera_Shoe.html
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Old December 4th, 2007, 04:36 PM   #23
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I had two wireless receivers on an EX1 this past weekend using a "Bracket1" mount: see http://www.bracket1.com/brackets.php
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Old December 5th, 2007, 02:42 AM   #24
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Kevin many thanks for sharing this bit of info - I assume that you have the Bracket 1 HD? It looks fantastic. Can you still be able to turn the hand grip in any position needed? Does the bracket limits you in any way?
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Old December 5th, 2007, 08:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
I assume that you have the Bracket 1 HD? It looks fantastic. Can you still be able to turn the hand grip in any position needed? Does the bracket limits you in any way?
Actually I have a Bracket 1A and a 1C I've been using with my Sony FX1s. The 1A won't work with the EX1 because it blocks the XLR inputs, while the 1C positions the receivers to the right of the lens hood (sticking out slightly forward of the front of the camera). Good point that the 1HD might interfere with the EX1 grip so I'd ask the company about that before buying one, or see if they're planning a new version specifically for this camera.

In any case, the 1C works with one receiver screwed to the main position at the top of the bracket and a second receiver clipped sideways below that. This gets a little crowded but I was able to get some hand-held shots with all that plus a Firestore FS4 mounted on the other side of the camera on a MiniRover bracket. (By the time I was done you could barely see the camera under all the other gear.)

Last edited by Kevin Shaw; December 5th, 2007 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Fixed parentheses
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Old January 12th, 2008, 02:55 PM   #26
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I have a dsr 300 rigth now and I love it. I want to do some multicam stuff. So I was thinking of getting a bunch of ex1's. Or I could by used dsr 300's which go for like 3 grand. How much better would the EX1 be than the dsr 300 in an SD aplication. Is the price differnce worth the money for an SD broadcast.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
Another negative thing on the EX that I didn't mention in my post but is quite important for persons like you Thomas, since you are familiar with the 300, is that Sony did not include a D-Tap output. This output allows one to switch on and off the on-board light with the trigger switch (and the lamp also draws power directly from the camera battery - hence no extra batteries to carry and no wires!). I still have to configure what I am going to do!
I guess it will not sync with the trigger, but Bebob in Germany makes a battery adapter for the EX1 called Coco-EX.

http://www.bebob.de/international/coco-EX_e.html

I see our favourite NY superstore does not stock this as of this date, but this is probably a new product.

This nice gadget will provide you with 2 hirose and one AB D-Tap.

Just to give you one alternative to power camera, light and maybe an LCD screen even though the oncam LCD is very good due to reports. Or wathever extra equipment you would like to power.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #28
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Yes Ronny, I've seen the product on their site - the only thing is that it's ugly and the battery seems to be reversed - i.e the contacts are outermost and not innermost as in all other cameras. This is slightly worrying me as it means that the contacts can be more prone for exposure to dew/rain showers. Has anyone bought such product? I'm waiting for Hawk Woods (a UK company that makes some really cool stuff) to issue out their product - I was told by one of their sales team that they are looking into it right now.

By the way, Kevin, I've bought the Bracket 1 HD - http://www.bracket1.com/brackets.php#01 - whoever might be interested to know on possible accessories for this camera.

It's really good to attach stuff to it like cordless mics and hard drives. They even have specific attachments to different mics. It can be used by the EX1 and the grip does rotate (just) without any trouble. It even gives better stability/safety to the camera when placed on the floor / tables...
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