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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 9th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #1
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PMW-EX1 24p footage out to film?

I'm looking for an affordable solution for a documentary project that will eventually go out to film. In case my countless prostrations, ceremonial dancing and animal sacrifices do not work and I cannot get a budget to cover shooting in 2k or HDCAM (hey, an indy guy can dream, can't he?) I am looking for other possibilities.

I have thought about (maybe) the Panasonic HVX200 or one of Sony's FX1 or Z1U (or whatever their numbers are) but have been turned off by some of the technical issues described in reviews by Adam Wilt et al. However, this prosumer CineAlta seems to have something going for it (despite the tapeless thing, see this post for my rant on why tapeless acquisition is the dumbest thing since auto-focus).

My question here: is the PMW-EX1's 24p recording suitable for the eventual recording out to film? Is it like the Panasonic's 24p, or is it more like the 24pA? Or is it akin to the *groan* Cineframe 24 (more info on CF24 issues from Adam Wilt)?
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Old December 9th, 2007, 08:54 PM   #2
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No Cineframe.
It's 24P

Either camera will work good for film. The HVX200 verses EX1 threads are starting to make me feel ill.
We personally ditched our HVX200 after owning it for one month, but that's us.

Both cameras will work well for this. Lesser cameras such as the VX2000 have made it to fiilm.

There are differences, and the only way to determine if one is right for you is to try it yourself.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 10:47 PM   #3
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I would say when you have to shoot fast moving casts and lots of fast camera action then go with HVX200 but if whole film consists subtle movements then go with EX1. They are both cheap for what they are so, can't expect them to do everything.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #4
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Mike I'd thought I'd answer your comments from your other thread here since you've made the general statements on this EX1 thread.

Apparently you're not aware of the EX1's technology.
An 8GB card holds 25 minutes so two will give you 50 minutes.
Two 16GB cards hold 100 minutes.

With tape, you MUST STOP to change it. With cards one card can keep recording while you offload the other. That 50 minute 16GB card may take about 5 minutes to offload. Unlike tape, you can, in effect, record continuously.

You can archive to optical disc and, assuming the discs are genuinely durable, they'll be easier to find playback means years later.

I can still playback a CD from 1988. On the other hand I can't find too many D2 decks. You can archive to DL-DVD or Blu-ray and you may well still find players long after the decks are scarce.

Given that HDV, especially some variants between Sony, Canon and JVC don't play on each other's decks or cameras can't currently be played on the other's, imagine what you'll likely need to go through to playback some of those tapes in 10 or 15 years. On the other hand, player for 20 years CD are EASY to find.

The XDCAM files can be handed to a client on an optical disc with Sony's clip browser and the client WILL NOT need to look for a compatible deck.

The XDCAM .mp4 extension the EX1 uses, can be changed to .ts and a Blu-ray player or PS3 will play those masters. A $400 player or game system will play a file without the need for $1500-$10,000 deck.

This non tape system used by the EX1 has ease of use written all over it.

Yes, you may need an assistant with a laptop but that assistant can burn copies of discs for both YOU and YOUR client by the time the shoot is done. How's that for DOUBLE back up in addition to what you dumped to your laptop's hard drive.

Maybe having a laptop with an assistant is a PITA (if you're shooting over 100 minutes without being able to take a break yourself) but in every other aspect this seems better than tape.

Do NOT confuse SxS and XDCAM with P2 workflow. Not all tapeless systems are the same.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
... this prosumer CineAlta seems to have something going for it (despite the tapeless thing)
Actually this prosumer CineAlta seems to have something going for it *because of* the tapeless thing.

Quote:
(...see this post for my rant on why tapeless acquisition is the dumbest thing since auto-focus).
Well, that's just due to your obvious confusion and misunderstanding of what's going on with tapeless acquisition. Your "rant" only reveals that you're suffering from some severe misconceptions about tapeless acquisition and archiving; I've posted a reply to that thread which will help to set you straight plus you've received some excellent guidance from several other folks there (as well as here). Hopefully you're clear on the concept now.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 01:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Apparently you're not aware of the EX1's technology.
An 8GB card holds 25 minutes so two will give you 50 minutes.
Two 16GB cards hold 100 minutes.
I was aware of that, and you are right that I shouldn't lump SxS/XDCAM with P2 (which I must say is a joke, IMHO... not with a 10' pole)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
With tape, you MUST STOP to change it. With cards one card can keep recording while you offload the other. That 50 minute 16GB card may take about 5 minutes to offload. Unlike tape, you can, in effect, record continuously.
Yes. . . and when you swap out one card for offloading, what kind of camera shake do you get? Of course, you could (and correctly) argue that the chances of finding one in a situation where you had to record continuously for longer than 100 minutes are unlikely, so that is a criticism that applies more to P2.

Like I said, I'm still wading through all this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
You can archive to optical disc and, assuming the discs are genuinely durable, they'll be easier to find playback means years later.

. . .

The XDCAM files can be handed to a client on an optical disc with Sony's clip browser and the client WILL NOT need to look for a compatible deck.

The XDCAM .mp4 extension the EX1 uses, can be changed to .ts and a Blu-ray player or PS3 will play those masters. A $400 player or game system will play a file without the need for $1500-$10,000 deck.
So, is this what you have been using? I had pondered the possibility of backing up to HDCAM or XDCAM optical discs, but then found myself pondering "why not just record to HDCAM or XDCAM in the first place?"

And then I remember, "Oh, yeah. Right. The $$$"

But the pathway you described makes sense. I haven't looked into what Blu-Ray burners are going for lately, but they have got to be cheaper than a deck.

Many thanks!
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Old December 10th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Actually this prosumer CineAlta seems to have something going for it *because of* the tapeless thing.

Well, that's just due to your obvious confusion and misunderstanding of what's going on with tapeless acquisition. Your "rant" only reveals that you're suffering from some severe misconceptions about tapeless acquisition and archiving; I've posted a reply to that thread which will help to set you straight plus you've received some excellent guidance from several other folks there (as well as here). Hopefully you're clear on the concept now.
I'm off to check out the replies on that thread, and you are correct -- I do have much confusion (that's why I'm here, eh!) about the whole thing.

However, and not that I don't appreciate the feedback I have received here, but I'm still not clear on the whole "what's EX1's implementation of 24p?" thing. . . I fully admit that I am suffering from some FUD, but, again, that's why I turn to the knowledgeable people here for help!
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Old December 10th, 2007, 02:07 AM   #8
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As much as I would have liked to see the XDCAM-EX using Blu-Ray as the recording medium because of how convenient it would have been, even I would have to admit that solid state is a much better alternative because theirs no moving parts. As far as comparing it to tape, you do not have to worry about condensation and never mind the fact that its much quicker finding clips. Blu-Ray burners will currently cost you around 450 to 650 dollars so archiving shouldn’t be a problem.

1920X1080 24p is purely native so it should be very easy converting it to film.
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