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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 January 10th, 2008, 12:13 AM   #16
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Hi all, I received my EX1 a few days back. I'm so busy at work this week I've had only about 30 minutes with the camera.

I own a z1 and an ex1. With regards to sensitivey - from the very limited subjective tests I've done I can tell you that it is 'certainly' more sensitive. I would say that it is about 6 to 8 DB (perceptually at least). The noise the ex1 exhibits is different and would best be kept below 6 DB as many have suggested. Although i think it depends on what you are shooting - that noise won't appear as evident if your image is lit to some degree.

If you use my numbers above - if you stay below 9 DB on the z1u normally - you will probably be between 0 and 3 DB on the ex1 for the most part. The ex1 is more flexible and the profiles allow good 'visibility' at low light. It's like your eyes don't amplify reality - they are just very clear in low light. The z1 image which normally looks pretty good to me today looked soft and somewhat fuzzy in low light at 6db while the ex1 was picking up the same brightness with better clarity at 0 db. A 3-6 db gain on the ex1 would probably be close to a 9-12 on the z1u - and this is where both cameras start exhibiting offensive noise.

It's important to note as someone pointed out that the picture is much clearer with more definition than the z1u. It is noticable too - you don't have to look for it.

I'd put this camera between the DSR3xx series and Z1u in terms of sensitivity - more towards the 3xx.
Clarity/Resolution wise - beats both out without a doubt

With the z1 you need to crank up sharpness to like 12 or 13 just to keep the image from becoming mushy. The ex1 at 0 looks perfectly good to me. The z1 image has more of the video feel, in in 1080i this has a more filmic feel. Plenty of options to get the 'look' you want in any case.

The autofocus in dim situations looks a little slower than the z1 to me. I plan to use more manual focus though

Love solid state recording. Can't wait for cheap SxS cards.

For the price - it's worth every penny and much more. I'll write a better review once I do some real life tests.

Bottom line - if anyone is thinking of buying it - don't worry you won't be disappointed - it's a excellent camera for any use - especially weddings.

Is this the new low light king ? Could be :)

Paul
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Old January 10th, 2008, 12:57 AM   #17
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Is this the new low light king ? Could be :)Paul
Yes, it is. The EX1 is slightly better than the PD170 in all low light tests.

- Don
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Old January 10th, 2008, 12:57 AM   #18
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[I own a z1 and an ex1.]

Paul, will you be selling your Z1 or keep it as a spare camera? I own a FX1 and was thinking of getting EX1 too. The only concern I have is the partial flash exposure reported by some users. I do mostly wedding and there will always be situation when multiple flashes firing at the newly wed during important moments. I also heard some users did not have that partial exposure problem when they switch the shutter off.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #19
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Hi John ! I'm in the same boat - doing mostly weddings. I have not tested the flash issue - but will give it a shot for sure. I've left the shutter off for my tests.

I actually had two z1's and sold one of them as a trade in for the ex1.
I have another z1 - still new that i'm keeping for now. Once i'm set on the workflow with the ex1 - I'll pick up another as a backup - or possibly the new z7 if it proves to be a good perfomer.

I've shot a good 50-60 wedding over 1.5 years with the z1 and have been doing weddings for 15 years and while it provides decent results - i can see right away that the ex1 wll be a clear winner. The 30P images look really nice too !


Note however i only tested this in a room with about two 35 watt halogen lights running from a track light. If you put a 100 watt light on this thing things would sparkle. Low light is always a concern for me. It's not that i want to make it bright necessarily - i want it to maintain the mood but be clear as possible (hi-res) - the ex1 is doing at least a 50% better job at that than the z1

Wedding wise it will be great.

You'll also want to note that the ex1 is a bit heavier. The LCD is very clear ! Yes it's better than the z1 and even that was really good. I love the menu layout and fonts too. The z1's are kinda big and clumsy looking - these are very stylish. I can't say the placement of each menu is perfect - it's kinda odd - but it's not like i change anything in the menus that often

Battery wise - I ran the provided battery post a full charge . It showed about 140 minutes - and basically ran that amount. That could run you through two 16 GB cards at SP quality. The larger battery is best thought. I think that would give you 4 hours or so Some people said that the battery drains if you leave it on your camera for a few days - testing that now.

Thanks!
Paul
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Old January 10th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #20
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Paul, I really like my FX1 but this year I am planning to offer full HD to some of my clients who asked for it. Furthermore, tape transfer to my notebook for the making of the montage to be shown during the evening is really eating to the limited time I have for editing. This reason alone justify me to go for card based recording
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Old January 10th, 2008, 02:24 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Paul Dhadialla View Post
Some people said that the battery drains if you leave it on your camera for a few days - testing that now.
Keep in mind that the only indication that the EX is turned on is the little green light above the card slot. I think that some EX users are forgetting to turn the camera off and are coming back to find the battery drained.

- Don
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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:34 AM   #22
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Keep in mind that the only indication that the EX is turned on is the little green light above the card slot. I think that some EX users are forgetting to turn the camera off and are coming back to find the battery drained.

- Don
Don, sorry you're wrong.
Camera OFF with the battery in does drain a full battery within 3 days.
This has been proven by quite a few. Try it.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:36 AM   #23
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Don, sorry you're wrong.
Camera OFF with the battery in does drain a full battery within 3 days.
This has been proven by quite a few. Try it.
yes it is a massive problem that I hope a firmware fix can sort out
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Old January 10th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #24
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Don, sorry you're wrong.
I thought it was worth a shot since I've talked to people that have retrieved their EX a few days later and have found that they had indeed left the camera on, with the resulting dead battery.

I've never been one to leave a battery attached to a camera when it's not being used, but the "camera turned off and battery still draining" issue is something Sony should deal with post haste.

- Don
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Old January 10th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #25
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I hope they are.
When I intend not using my camera for a week duration, I would normally remove the battery so it came as a surprise to us all that it drains in three days.
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